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QUESTION (Answers in Red):

Well, I started my 4 dogs on the raw food after reading the information from your web site last Sun. Everyday I am amazed as they sort of chew up and swallow the bones and it still scares me a little, but I am determined to hang in there until it becomes normal. I have read tons of stuff on the internet trying to educate myself. I am glad that I just jumped into it and made the commitment to go forward even though I didn’t have all my “duckies” in a row so to speak. I have a few more questions for you about the diet.

1) What are examples of RMB that are not chicken?....Would that be all rib type meats like beef ribs, spare ribs, back ribs, etc?

Rabbit quarters or halves, turkey necks, beef ribs, pork neck bones, lamb brisket or necks, etc…

2) Is there a nutritional problem if I fed chunks of meat without bones? Would chunks fall into the 40% category since RMB would be the 60% category?

Dogs need bone in their diet, but only about 10-15% . If I am feeding something that’s mostly bone (like pork necks) I feed a couple meals of meat only to balance it out or I add extra meat to that meal so my dog doesn’t get constipated from all the bone.

3) Where does hamburger fit into the mix?.....the 40% category?......does that mean you could give 60% RMB and 40% hamburger for a meal?

Hamburger is just another form of boneless meat.

4) Are the knuckle bones that are sold at Petsmart for example, considered cooked bones and should never be given? I thought that knuckle bones were okay because they didn’t splinter….is that wrong?

The knuckle bones from pet stores are cooked, don’t give those. Ask your butcher for beef knuckle bones, most will save them for you.

5) Do you think that most people get the chicken backs from at a butcher shop? I thought that I had the perfect place….the Mexican grocery store….but, they haven’t had them since last Sunday when I started this and I bought all they had at the time.

We get our chicken backs from a restaurant supply company, they only sell them in 35 pound boxes. If the Mexican grocery carries them, just ask and they may order them for you.

6) One of the internet sites said that leg quarters are weight bearing bones and harder than the other bones and that if they are given I would also need to give some egg shell calcium. Is that right? I am not giving any supplements right now and have only given chicken so far.

That’s not right. Leg quarters are fine and have plenty of calcium when they tell you not to feed weight bearing bones, they mean from larger animals like cows. Most chickens that are processed are only about 6 weeks old, and the bones are very soft. My 8 week old puppies can eat them without a problem.

I really appreciate your help…..it’s harder than I thought to find the answers to my questions…..and it’s hard not to worry that I am doing the wrong thing…….in my heart I know it’s the right thing…..All the dog food recalls threw it over the edge for me. Thank goodness I found your site. Thank you so much.

Cindy


QUESTION:

I’ve been doing some research on raw and all-natural diets in anticipation of the arrival of a new puppy (8-wk-old Cane Corso), and had a couple questions for you if you don’t mind…

She is currently on an all-natural (ie: human grade) kibble at the breeder’s, and I will continue her on this diet (Flint River Ranch) after she comes home. The reason for this is to allow her time to settle in to all the changes in her life, and because I’m not yet familiar enough with the raw diet to start right away. To go raw, I’d rather go all raw rather than the pre-made raw you can get at some pet stores. I also plan to give her Vitamin E, C, and fish oil supplements.

My question are –

While she’s on the kibble, is ok to give her some raw ingredients also? More as an occasional “supplement” to her daily meals ~ such as cottage cheese, egg, veggies, raw chicken or beef trimmings, etc. If this is ok, how much/how often should I feed it? Should I mix it in with her kibble, or give it as a separate meal?

What are good veggies/fruits and other extras to feed her? Is there anything I should be careful of other than grapes, raisins, tomatoes, and chocolate?

Also – could you give me a “sample menu” for the raw diet? I get confused with all the 20% organ meat, 40% raw bone meat, veggies, no veggies, etc. I’m also assuming this is ok to start on such a little puppy?

I’m somewhat hesitant to take her totally off kibble because a lot of kennels won’t accept raw food. I don’t anticipate kenneling her unless I absolutely have to, and I know the dehydrated food is an option – but it is really expensive especially for something I don’t plan to use much.

All thoughts or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!!

ANSWER:

Read the article on feeding a raw diet. It’s a work in progress but there is a lot of good information there.

I would also recommend these books, Natural Nutrition for Dogs & Cats and Raw Dog Food.

You can also go to our Feeding Dogs Page for a list of articles and books that will be helpful to you.

There are sample menus on the feeding dogs page also. I would get your puppy off of kibble asap, not only will it be healthier for your puppy, it will make housetraining easier because of all the fillers in Flint River Ranch. My parents fed it to their dogs before they switched to Honest Kitchen and the volume of stools was unbelievable. There are 3 types of grain in this food and dogs have NO nutritional need for grains, they are nothing but a cheap filler and they can be allergens as well. I wouldn’t add fruits or veggies, the meat scraps are good as well as eggs, cottage cheese and yogurt.

As far as boarding, I would bet that since all these pet food recalls have come on the scene that kennels will be more accepting of alternative diets. Quite frankly, if a kennel won't feed my dog according to my directions then I don’t want my dog to be there in the first place. Dog sitters are an option that work really well for a lot of people also.

Please visit our Discussion Forum. There are thousands of members and many posts on every dog related topic imaginable. You don’t have to register to read the material, but if you wish to post a question or reply you must go through the registration process.

There are lots of threads on raw feeding, many of the members have been feeding this way for years. Good luck with your new puppy!!


QUESTION:

I'm just researching food for my great pyrenese. I just got him from the pound on Sunday and so far he's just the best pet ever. He's terribly underweight though--79lbs, so I'm trying to fatten him up. Never heard about alternative dog food before. How much would it cost to feed my great pyr this prepared all natural dog food? He's supposed to between 89 and 130lbs. Also, I've always heard that feeding dogs raw meat makes them more aggressive. Is that true? Our dog is our family pet and we have small children so I'm nervous about that. Would love to know what a natural diet costs. Right now I'm just giving him pedigree dog food and I've been adding eggs, wheat germ, flax seed meal and olive oil for extra calories. I tried giving him some carrots and apples,but he wasn't interested. Thank you for your suggestions and information. Also, are rawhide bones bad?

Andrea

ANSWER:

I would start by reading the article on feeding a raw diet. I think it will answer a lot of your questions. I can’t tell you how much feeding your dog will cost, because I don’t know how much he will eat and what you will be feeding him. Dogs are not MADE aggressive by feeding raw foods, that’s one of those myths that just won’t go away. It makes NO sense if you think about it.

I would never give rawhides, they are not digestible and can cause health problems due to the chemicals they treat the hides with. If you want to give him something to chew, get knuckle bones from your meat department or butcher.


QUESTION:

I have my 6 month old Dobe pup on Embark with 5 chicken wings. I was giving her ½ cup w/ the wings twice a day. She was getting too skinny. The vet chewed me out yesterday; the day before I had increased the amount I was giving her to 1 cup twice daily with the same number of wings. Is there anything else I can add to make sure that she gains a healthy amount of weight? It will probably help with her paw issue as well from what the vet tells me. I appreciate all of your help. Thanks!

ANSWER:

I would add more than wings, I would add raw beef hamburger with the highest fat content you can find. Eggs, canned fish, lamb, etc….. I may add chicken leg quarters instead of wings, more meat and fat on them.

Realize that growing dogs sometimes eat from 5-10% of their body weight every day (if being fed a raw diet). Adults usually need 2-3%....adjust your feeding amounts according to how your dog looks, and with a pup you may be changing the amount every day or two.


QUESTION:

We brought our puppy home on Friday and had her at the vet on Monday. We had brought a stool sample and they found out she has coxidia. She has to take one pill Alban for 20 days. Since she was at raw diet and kibble at the breeder I did the same, but I wonder if it might be better if I feed her raw only. What is your opinion? She east K9 Kraving and loves it. Other than a slightly loose stool she is doing fine. Is there anything I can feed her to help heel her intestines?

Thanks

ANSWER:

I will always recommend raw only over anything, coccidia or not. J it’s the food your pup was designed to eat and digest. It will be healthier for her in the long run. If she was my puppy, she would be on raw without any kibble at all.


QUESTION:

My three y/o male shepherd has had skin irritation for over a span of a year. Since we had the dog, he has had this skin infection. We have fed the dog Diamond dog food since we have had the male shepherd. When I last took my boy to the vet, the doc put him on Keflex and Pretizone. For the time he was on the meds, the dog was fine. Now, we feed both my male and female dogs this potato and venison(deer) diet. The female has a little bit of a skin rash around her belly and our male now is scratching and his belly has not cleared up what so ever. Can you give me some advice possibly on his eating diet? The breeder we have gotten our dogs from has said it might a certain grass or weed in our yard causing his skin irritation. I really don't know what to believe. We gave up on garlic supplements, dog treats, and table scraps. It has been about a month since our dogs were on this potato and venison diet. The doc said it should take up to two months.

Should I see any improvement on my dog's condition? I am very tired of seeing my male dog like this. Can you help me out? Thanks for your consideration in this matter.

Brian

ANSWER:

I would make the switch to a grain free diet, with the best choice being raw. SOOOO many dogs are sensitive to ingredients in kibble, and vets merely suppress the symptoms with pills but never address the real problem.

Many times the meds you give cause more problems down the road and you end up with a very sick dog. We don't achieve health by eating a highly processed diet, yet we expect our dogs to be healthy on a substandard unnatural diet.

We don’t feed any kibble here, and haven't for years. My own dogs have been raw fed exclusively since 1994, and I would never go back.

I would start by reading the article on feeding a raw diet. It's not complete but it will give you a place to start.

We also carry a dehydrated diet by Honest Kitchen, but to feed it exclusively to a couple of big dogs can get pretty pricey. We feed it mixed with raw meat and our dogs do wonderfully on it.

Be aware that most vets have very little nutritional training, and what they do have is funded by dog food companies. They don't mean to harm our dogs, but they just don't have the education they need on this issue (in most cases).


QUESTION:

My 8 year old male West Highland Terrier, Buddy, is slightly...OK, moderately overweight at 25 pounds and has allergies to bermuda grass, ash and maple trees, and goldenrod. He also has food allergies to rice, soybean and peanuts. Currently I feed him Iams and if I keep table scraps away from him he does pretty well in conjunction with daily antihistamine pills (Chlorpheniramine Maleate 4mg--2 pills a day) . He is a picky eater and I don't know very much about your line of food products. Do you have other clients with Westies and food allergies? Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated as I would LOVE to get him off his medicine or at least be able to cut down on the dosage. When he has an allergic reaction he scratches himself and licks and chews on his feet and mutilates his skin.

ANSWER:

In my opinion Iams is one of the WORST commercial dog foods you can buy. If you have to keep him on Kibble (which I don’t recommend) then I would go to a premium brand with no grains, like Innova Evo.

You could also try our Honest Kitchen products, I would recommend Force or Embark (with no grains). Many allergies are due to grain intolerance. Dogs have NO nutritional need for grains whatsoever. Kibble is mostly grain and hard for dogs to digest and process. Iams has so many inferior ingredients with who knows what mixed in, your dog could be sensitive to anything in there.

My own dogs eat a raw diet and have for the past 12 years. Many dogs with allergies to foods, are given relief by feeding them whole unprocessed raw foods. We never have itchy dogs, hot spots, ear infections or allergy issues (and before switching to raw it was common).


QUESTION:

My bloodhound had her puppies a week ago. She has been eating Soup for the Dog Lover's Soul for over a year or so. My question is how much should I be feeding her and how many times a day? She weighs around 75 lbs. and is feeding a litter of 6 pups. I am scared to feed her big meals b/c I lost another bloodhound to bloat. The vet then recommended small meals with little water during feeding times. What do you suggest about the number of times and the amount each time or amount per day?

Thanks,
Matt and Kelli

ANSWER:

If you must feed kibble I would add highly nutritious extras to her food, raw ground beef, turkey and pork. Cottage cheese, yogurt, goats milk. Canned mackerel and sardines are good also. Lamb has a lot of fat in it, which is good for nursing moms.

You can read our feeding a raw diet article.

Most of our females are fed to maintain body condition while nursing and that means different things for different females. I would feed small meals as your vet suggested, and make sure she has plenty of water. In order to produce milk they need lots of water. The nice thing about raw meats is that they contain a lot of moisture so the dogs drink less, they get much of their fluid from the meat.

Good luck with your litter!


QUESTION:

After reading your web site (found via google) I have decided to start raw/natural feeding my two dogs but I have a couple of queries I wonder if you can help me with.

Firstly, the reason I have been researching a new diet for my dogs is that Leo my 13 ½ year old Maltese, Chinese crested mix has recently been diagnosed with congenital heart failure so I am looking for a salt/sodium free diet for him – so my question here is as Leo is fairly old now would it be a good idea to start giving him a raw diet? (apart from his heart he is a healthy dog).

Secondly, in your suggestion of a diet you say about giving ‘turkey hamburger’ – what is that exactly – is that what we would call turkey mince in Ireland? I’ve never heard of ‘hamburger’ meat before!

I look forward to hearing from you & thank you for your very informative web site – I’ll be recommending it to all my ‘doggie’ friends!

Sonia

ANSWER:

We are not health care professionals, and when dealing with an older dog with a pre-existing condition I would advice obtaining medical advice from a vet, nutritionist or other health care expert.

Switching old dogs to a raw diet is possible, but sometimes takes a bit longer than a younger dog. if you are feeding raw, fresh foods then the salt content will be much lower than any type of processed food so I would expect that if your dog handles switching fine it would be a good thing for his overall health.

Turkey hamburger is the same thing as turkey mince.

Read the article on feeding a raw diet. It’s a work in progress but there is a lot of good information there.

I would also recommend these books, Natural Nutrition for Dogs & Cats and Raw Dog Food.

You can also go to our Feeding Dogs Page for a list of articles and books that will be helpful to you.

Good luck with your dog!


SECOND QUESTION:

Just wanted to update you.

I took Leo to the vet last night for his check up for his heart & the vet was happy with him, he said his color is very good & his general health is good so he’s given me 6 more weeks of vetmedin tablets & said to carry on as I am doing etc… I mentioned the raw diet & the eyebrows went straight up & he said that obviously a low salt diet will benefit him, he said he’s never fed his dogs raw but has no problems with me feeding mine that way – which I guess was kind of positive!!!

So, I went to the shop & bought my turkey mince (hamburger) & as I have a lot of mixer biscuit left I mixed it with that & they loved it!!! I bought chicken wings but I’m not sure if I should give them to them too often as they’re only small dogs but I will see how that goes & how I feel about that!

I saw on your site that you give kelp & alfalfa supplements – I give my two the following supplements one seems to me to be similar, what do you think?

Garlic & Fenugreek tablets (Leo has 2 a day & my jack russell Cass has 1 a day – Leo had a skin problem which is why I give him extra)

Keepers mix – seems similar to your kelp supplement

Mixed Vegetable tablets – Leo has 1 of these daily for his legs, he doesn’t have arthritis yet.

They also get 1 ’flexi-joints’ tablet each daily –

(just for information they weigh – Leo = 6.1kgs & Cass = 6.5kgs)

I look forward to hearing from you & thank you for your help on this!

ANSWER:

I am not a fan of chicken wings, they are mostly bone and skin. Bone in chicken breast is the easiest type of RMB for dogs that are new to raw to start with. Once they are doing well on other types of bone in meat, the wings would be OK occasionally.

I can’t advise about the supplements, I don’t have knowledge of other companies products.

It sounds like you have a pretty good vet!


QUESTION:

I have a german shepherd that will be turning 9 soon. For the most part he stays pretty healthy but lately he hasn't been as much.... mostly with his hips. I have been giving him glucosamine chondriton twice a day and that wasn't helping so we went to the vet today and he gave me some medication for him because his hips are so bad. He still runs along the fence line and things like that but he can hardly get up 2 steps and often stumbles. He has also been losing weight. I use to mix raw turkey burger in with his food but when i was given the responsibility of paying for him solely i could no longer afford it. He is small for a shepherd and was at about 75 pounds which was healthy for his size but he has now gone down to 67 but i have been giving him 5 cups of dog food a day. Do you think adding the raw meat again would help with his hips and weight? Thank you for your time.

ANSWER:

Kibble may be part of his problem. The grains in kibble aggravate joint conditions, by causing inflammation.

Read the article on feeding a raw diet. It’s a work in progress but there is a lot of good information there.

I would also recommend these books, Natural Nutrition for Dogs & Cats and Raw Dog Food.

You can also go to our Feeding Dogs Page for a list of articles and books that will be helpful to you.

I don’t know what medication your vet prescribed, but if your vet put him on Rimadyl, I would MAKE SURE that your vet also monitors his liver functions.

We also have an extensive health question and answer section.


QUESTION:

I have an itchy Shih Tzu who also has a sensitive stomach. Gracie has always itched but when I transitioned her to Force about three months ago and she started itching much worse. Her stomach is no longer upset and she has firm stools but I am wondering if she might be allergic to flaxseed. Any thoughts on this? I notice that The Honest Kitchen is getting ready to launch Thrive which is marketed as flax free. Has there become a know occurrence of dogs being allergic to flax?

Thanks,
Leslie

ANSWER:

There are dogs that are sensitive to flax. Typically these dogs do best on a raw diet that is free of any plant based products (including veggies) I own a dog like this myself so I am speaking from experience. J It may be worth a try to get her on a very simple raw diet without supplements or veggies to see if she improves. If the time comes to add supplements, I would make sure to add Salmon Oil and Vitamin E and stay away from flax or any other veggie based oils. I also would not give kelp or alfalfa to this dog. I would keep the diet as uncomplicated as possible.

Read the article on feeding a raw diet. It’s a work in progress but there is a lot of good information there.

I would also recommend these books, Natural Nutrition for Dogs & Cats and Raw Dog Food.

You can also go to our Feeding Dogs Page for a list of articles and books that will be helpful to you.

I haven’t been told when Thrive will be available, but it may be worth a try also.


QUESTION:

Cindy,

First of all, thanks for all of the info on vaccines.  I do have another question to do with feeding raw, something I used to do.  When feeding ground beef or anything beef, are you at all concerned with the hormones that are given to cattle to fatten them up?  I guess the same question goes for poultry too.  And one more…I also have a 6 pound Pom and a little bewildered about what size bones he can handle.  Any suggestions?  Many thanks!

Barrie

ANSWER:

I don’t believe it’s legal to add hormones to chickens anymore, not sure about beef.  Personally, if I am really worried about antibiotics or hormones in the meat I feed my dogs, I would go with organic.  It’s expensive but if you only have one small dog it should be reasonable to do so.  I am much more concerned about the substandard ingredients I KNOW are in kibble, even the high priced brands.  I try to shop wisely for the meat my dogs eat, just like I would for the meat my family eats.

Let your dog show you what size bones he can handle.   I would guess wings would be fully consumed, but larger bones like leg quarters, beef and pork ribs or lamb necks shouldn’t be ruled out.  He may just eat the meat off of them, in which case they would be considered a recreational bone.  My larger dogs will completely consume most things I give to them but the 12 pound corgi will sometimes leave the bone portion of the larger foods I offer.  I would be careful cutting up RMBs into smaller pieces as they can become a choking hazard.  I always feed LARGER pieces (i.e. a half a chicken as opposed to a drumstick) to my dogs.

If you haven’t read it, you should read our article on Feeding a Raw Diet.

Good luck. 


QUESTION:

Have you ever heard of a grain based diet being the cause of Pano in giant breeds?

I have cut back on kibble and adding a raw meal a day per your menu pup isn't limping as much anymore.

I am trying to feel comfortable taking him off kibble completely and using your 7-menu plan he weighs 100 lbs at 6 months and is lean we can feel his ribs, but wanted to input if you think Pano is caused by excess grains or a combo of bloodline or distemper vaccines being administered to early at 7 weeks of age.

Thank you,
Hope

ANSWER:

Yes, I have had experience with grain based foods aggravating Pano.  One of my good friends took her raw fed  German Shepherd puppy off of raw and put him on kibble, he developed a horrible case of pano and when she switched back to raw without any grains he quit limping in a matter of days.

I do think it runs in some bloodlines but the diet can play a role for sure.


Question:

I visited your web site today to find out what kind of vitamins to supplement my puppy with.  To be quite honest, I did not have much time to go item by item, but I really want to buy something.  Would you recommend something with calcium for his bones or what kind of vitamin would you suggest?  I'm currently feeding Royal canine which is a good brand, but still want to give him some supplements...

In advance thanks for your time.

Juan

Response:

If you are feeding kibble, I am not sure I would supplement with too much.  I would not add additional calcium, giving that could cause growth problems.

The one thing I would suggest is Salmon Oil and Vitamin E.

We give this to all our dogs regardless of the diet they are on. Hope this helps.


Question:

Hi Mr Frawley, just had a few questions/concerns that I need help on....

My wife and I have raised numerous APBT's during our 9 years together... we recently purchased a couple of the new style blue APBTs. Ok, our youngest female is 1yr and is in season.. this is her second heat ( she came into season at 7 months old )  but she's very mature in our minds as well the breeder who bred her, but ever since she came into heat she's lost her appetite for dry commercial foods.... We've tried two different feeds that we've had no problem feeding her in the past yet she turns her nose towards it.... but at dinner time she sits by the table and will eat only the cooked meats that we might serve that night.  What should I do?

My second question is:  when she was a  pup she would let out a weird discharge in her bowel and we had her checked and she was found healthy. We didn't see this weird discharge until she just came back into season, but it's not every time she makes a bowel movement. What should I do in this situation?

I appreciate you taking the time out to help me out......

Thanx  
GW

Answer:

I would be taking a good look at the diet this dog is eating.

Dry commercial foods are not appropriate nutrition for dogs.  This little pit bull is trying to tell you she wants real food that is appropriate for carnivores.  My guess is that when you get her on an appropriate diet, she will eat well and the bowel issue will resolve as well.  She’s a smart dog!

Read this article on feeding a raw diet.  It’s a work in progress but there is a lot of good information there. 

I would also recommend these books, Natural Nutrition for Dogs & Cats and Raw Dog Food. 

You can also go to our Feeding Dogs Page for a list of articles and books that will be helpful to you.


Question:

Hello,

I looked through your sight and found answers to 'what' to feed my dog, but nothing was mentioned about when and how often was best when it came to feeding.

I have heard one time only (due to when they were wolves in the wild) to it's better to feed two times a day...

What is the correct answer?

Thanks in advance,
Paula

Answer:

The best feeding schedule is whatever works for you AND your dog.  We feed some of our dogs once daily and some of them twice.


Question:

Hi Ed,

Probably a stupid question but I'll ask anyway.My dog eats his bowl in record time... like if I had not fed him for days....He doesn't show any signs of aggression i.e. : he doesn't growl, I can take the food away no problem. I'm just amazed on how fast he can eat the whole bowl.

Dog height: 28", weight: 97lbs. He's big but not fat.

This behavior just started. He's fed according to the level of activity during the day. The books, the vet, etc... say that I should wait until he's calm submissive before I feed him, tried that... It leaves the bowl like the dog was a dirt devil vacuum.

What should I do or is this normal?

Marc.

Answer:

Many of our dogs eat like this, in my opinion its normal dog behavior.   Have you changed his food recently or the location in which you feed him?

If he eats like this and loses weight, I would take a stool sample in to your vet to check for parasites, and possible run blood work to rule out diabetes or a pancreatic enzyme deficiency.


Question:

I have a 9 week old puppy and I am giving him a  dietary supplement called The Missing Link made by Designing Heath Inc. it has essential fatty acids- dietary fiber and omega in it  it has natural whole foods. I am also giving pet tabs- a daily vitamin pill.

Do you think I am giving him to many supplements ? Because many say too many supplements is harmful for a puppy's growth. What is your take on this? I am feeding him eukanuba lamb and rice.  I plan on feeding him the raw diet at about 1 year of age. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you for your time and I love your videos, your guidance has worked.

Answer:

If you are feeding an appropriate diet, you would not need all that supplementation.  I feel it’s best for dogs (and humans) to get what they need out of food when possible.  Supplements can help, but aren’t always absorbed by the body like the same nutrients would be when coming from the diet.

Why would you wait until 1 year of age to switch to a raw diet?  That make no sense to me, the time to switch is now so your pup has the best opportunity to grow and develop to his potential. Eukanuba is inferior food for any dog, especially a puppy who has extreme nutritional needs.

Read the article on feeding a raw diet.  It’s a work in progress but there is a lot of good information there. 

I would also recommend these books, Natural Nutrition for Dogs & Cats and Raw Dog Food. 

You can also go to our Feeding Dogs Page for a list of articles and books that will be helpful to you.


QUESTION:

Hi Ed,

I just finished reading your article "Introducing a New Dog into a Home with Other Dogs". I found it very interesting. I just got another dog (Cotton de Tulear, little guy, 14 lbs) at my house. Now I have two. This new dog seems to have a problem of being "gluttonous." He finishes his food in 30 seconds and I am not exaggerating. The breeder told me that he could eat until he bursts. Anyway, I don't consider that as a big problem. The real problem is that when I give him a treat, he bites over my fingers. I have to give it to him in my palm. The dog I have already had got the same problem when he was a puppy but I corrected it. Whenever he bit me, I would scream like crazy. That pup surely learned that. Now this newcomer is a 3-year old adult. As gentle, loving and calm as he is, he surely can bite! I really don't want to get hurt myself by letting him bite me to start with. But somehow I know that I have to let him bite me to show him that it is not right. I wonder if you know any safe way to correct for this biting behavior. I would really appreciate any insight you provide.

Thanks a lot
Tom

ANSWER:

Dogs that eat this fast are susceptible to bloat. This is a serious issue to me. I would recommend switching your dogs to an all-natural diet. If you read my web site you can learn about it. I have never heard of one dog that bloats on that diet. I have this little book that we sell titled Natural Nutrition in Dogs and Cats – this explains it and is how I feed all of the dogs in my kennel. The snappy issue is an obedience issue. Correcting the problem begins with obedience. The dog needs to learn the difference between right and wrong. Obedience training teaches every dog that there are things he can and cannot do.

I would start to correct the snappy issue with leather gloves so you will not get hurt if he bites your fingers. If a dog snaps I jam my fist down his throat as I verbally correct the dog. The dog learns that he needs to be a little careful because he may get a fist down his throat if he is not careful. I make it very, very clear that if you bite my fingers you are going to get your butt kicked.

You may want to take a look at my Basic Dog Obedience video.


Question:

Hello:

I have an adopted female/spayed German Shep, guessing between 3 & 6 years old.  I am feeding BARF diet, along with your products, ie, alfalfa, kelp, and Vit C; no grains, only raw meat (primarily beef & chicken), bones, organ meats, pureed vegetables.  I give cod liver oil and flaxseed oil (about 1:2 ratio) for EFAs, etc.  Her coat is wonderful, and she appears generally alert and active, however, she seems to have some type of allergy.  She does not have fleas or mites, and I am currently detoxing her for possible yeast infection (after one week there is no change, and I'm doubting that yeast is a culprit).  Blood and urine tests are normal.  I give probiotics whenever necessary.  I have installed a whole-house water filter that diminishes chlorine and fluoride.  She is cold when the temperature goes below 65 degrees, and seeks warmth in sun and on hard surface (not grass/soil).  She is incontinent due to spaying (currently trying a homeopathic remedy--too early to tell if effective).  She had 3 puppies at the time the shelter received her (April 2005), and was lactating/nursing, had hookworm and giardia, and was chemically treated for hookworm in April, 2005, when she was also spayed, and vaccinated--all on the same day, by the shelter!   (She has not been vaccinated since.)  She was chemically re-treated for hookworm in May, 2005, as well as for giardia (metronitazol).  She was treated for heartworm in mid-2006 (Immiticide, and heavy/prolonged antibiotic schedule).  She has been on a raw food diet since the first day I adopted her, but I added supplements only occasionally, or under stress.  I have started adding alfalfa/kelp/Vit C regularly over the past 8 days--her scratching has gone through the roof.

I am suspecting a possible allergic reaction to one or more of these supplements, and have withheld them for the past two days.  Her scratching/biting has significantly reduced, although not entirely disappeared.  Her ears and belly skin vary between bright pink/red, and whitish pink (depending on activity level).

Are you aware of other owners, or yourself for that matter, who may have a dog that might not be able to handle one or more of the alfalfa/kelp/Vit C supplements?  If so, do you know of some other source for these nutrients, as I am concerned my dog currently is not getting a properly balanced diet.  Do you have any recommendations, both for the supplements, and with regard to the incontinence?  I appreciate any help you can lend toward solving these perplexing problems.

Also, is it true that black strap molasses helps Sheps retain their hair color pigmentation? If so, is it safe to give on a daily basis?

Thank you very much.

Michele

Answer:

Some dogs have sensitivities to Alfalfa and also to flax.  I would cut out all supplements for a while and see how she does.   In the future, I would probably not use any plant based supplements and may even consider cutting veggies out.   We don’t feed vegetables regularly to our dogs here.

I wouldn’t give molasses as it’s merely sugar.  Dogs don’t need this at all.

I would look into finding a homeopath that can treat her for any vaccine and chemical damage that she may have from what was done to her at the shelter.  A homeopath may also be able to help with the spay incontinence. 


Question:

Hi Ed, right now my shepherd gets a salmon oil pill daily. She has since she was a pup. But lately she has been shedding a lot more than usual. She has been fixed so it isn't the heat, and the season change hasn't been happening for the last consecutive 5 months. I know I should up the amount of pills she gets but not sure how much more. They are 1000mg per capsule. She absolutely loves it, so it won't be a problem giving her more. Could you please let me know how much more to give. Thanks.

Answer:

1000 mg of Salmon Oil per day is not enough for a GSD.   We recommend at least 1 pill per 20 pounds of body weight per day.  Most of our dogs get 4 to 5 thousand milligrams per day.  You also need to make sure you give Vitamin E along with this.

Response:

Thanks so much for replying, I increased her pills from one a day to 4 and what a huge difference in her coat in like 2 days, I could not believe. Thanks so much.


QUESTION:

Sorry to bother you, Mr. Frawley. I've been exploring your website for a long time now and you have truly educated me about certain aspects of training and feeding. I recently purchased a german shepherd puppy from a breeder and will receive her in a few weeks at the age of 4 months. I am very interested in feeding her the raw diet, so I joined several yahoo groups about raw feeding. In one of the groups I received this email from one of the members:

'One thing to be aware of with a GSD puppy is that too much protein is extremely detrimental to their growth. If they have too much protein in their diet their bones grow too fast and they tend to have bad feet, as in incorrect structure. Be very careful about a raw diet with this breed.'

I know you are a pro at raising german shepherds and feeding the raw diet, so have you ever heard of anything like this before? I want to start feeding my puppy raw as soon as I get her, but want to make sure that this person has no clue what they're talking about.

Also, just so you know I'm planning on buying a couple of your puppy dvd's to start off my new puppy's education.

Thank you Mr. Frawley, I appreciate the help.

Joe

ANSWER:

Usually the problems described in the email you received are only seen in kibble fed puppies.

We have raised countless litters and puppies on raw and have not had any problems.

Read this article on feeding a raw diet . It’s a work in progress but there is a lot of good information there.

I would also recommend these books, Natural Nutrition for Dogs & Cats and Raw Dog Food.

You can also go to our Feeding Dogs Page for a list of articles and books that will be helpful to you.

Hope this helps!


Question:

What fruits if any are good for your dog?

I gave my 12 week old GSD puppy a piece of apple when I was baking a pie and then I thought I should have check your web-site before giving it to him. He is getting bored with carrots and I want to try something new.

I have purchased several of your items and I'm completely satisfied if all of them. My puppy loves the natural treats. They have become part of his training tool.

Thanks so much for all your help.

Answer:

We don’t feed fruit on a regular basis.  An occasional piece of fruit is fine and many dogs enjoy it.   I know blueberries have antioxidant properties, and many people give a few of those once a week or so.

Apple seeds are toxic to dogs, as are grapes and raisins.

If your dog needs something to occupy him, I would suggest a meaty knuckle bone.  Meat, bones and organs are the best food for dogs.

We have lots of posts on our Discussion Forum about different foods to feed dogs.  There was a discussion earlier this week about feeding fruit.

Hope this helps.


Question:

Hello from sunny Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.  I'm currently serving in the U.S. Navy and just returned home from Iraq.  My female English Bulldog was board at a local breeder's house who I've known for years now.  While I was away, she cooked for my bitch.  Lesson learned, I did provide her with 3, 30 lbs bags of Evo dog food.  The bully has been spoiled for 6 months by eating cooked meals and also put on 10 lbs.  My dog has not eaten in 6 days. She goes to her kibble, sniffs and walks away. I think I'm more stubborn than she is.  I even tried cooking some lean turkey and beef and tried mixing this in with her food and she won't eat it either.  I tried mixing can food with her kibble and still nothing.  This morning I did try feeding strictly can food and she did eat half a can.  I was always under the impression that the dog has to eat solid food and not solely can food.  Can you feed only can and would this be ok?  Please advise on how to get this bitch to eat without cooking for her.

Answer:

I would make sure this dog is healthy.  Dogs do not refuse to eat for days unless they are ill or stressed.

I would get this dog checked out by a vet very thoroughly.  If she checks out ok, then I would start gradually exercising her.  If she is 10 pounds overweight, then she doesn’t feel the need to eat unless something is very tempting.

Start with the vet first though.

I would also recommend these books, Natural Nutrition for Dogs & Cats and Raw Dog Food.

You can also go to our Feeding Dogs Page for a list of articles and books that will be helpful to you.


Question:

Wish I had discovered this site long ago.

I've got a 10 year lab. Allergies galore. We've tried all kinds of diets. Lamb is very bad. Yep, I said lamb. We were using Wellness with whitefish--which seemed to help a lot. But Trixie developed bladder stones from it.

Now she is on a vegetarian diet which I supplement with ground beef and egg. I do cook the ground beef and egg though. Trixie seems happier. However, if I go away I'm not sure the kennel will be eager to do what I do. (I love my kennel. They've been really patient with Trixie)

Would Honest kitchen be a good choice to try for my Trixie?

Her allergies--official ones---lamb, grass, bee and spider bites (swells up), dirt (good thing we've got a huge deck).

Her skin itches so bad she's caused bald spots on her legs. We've spent hundreds of dollars on vet visits, steroids, sprays, foods and anything else that might comfort her.

My other dog a sheltie has absolutely no problems.

Linda

Answer:

I would recommend either the Force or Embark formulas of the Honest Kitchen.
Grains tend to be one of the main offenders in allergies, and both of these foods are grain free.

I hope this helps.


Question:

We recently had our 2 year old dog Jasper (he is a 90 lb. mixed breed rescue) allergy tested due to his serious paw licking (two rounds of antibiotics and steroids later his hind paws are still raw).  The elisa testing found he is allergic to:

Humans - yes, humans
Turkey - ranked highest
Beef
Pork
Eggs
Milk
wheat
catfish
corn

We want to begin feeding a raw diet to improve his health.  Are there any substitutions for eggs?  We are currently feeding Eagle Pack Holistic Lamb.  The only ingredient on his "do not feed" list is dried egg product. But, I recently read that bulk quantities of eggs are dehydrated using corn syrup.  So, we are changing his diet immediately to chicken, rice and vegetables.  We are concerned that he will not get all the nutrients he needs for a healthy life.  Do you have any suggestions that will help our cherished dog?

Best Regards,
Christie and Collis

Answer:

First of all, the allergy testing that is done for food allergies is not worth much.  Vets that do this need to hit the books, because it’s just not an accurate way of determining a dog’s sensitivities.

I will say that feeding cooked or processed (like in kibble) turkey, beef, pork, eggs, etc is not even close to the same thing as feeding those same things raw.  Many dogs who can’t eat kibble can eat the same ingredients raw with absolutely no issue.

Read this article on feeding a raw diet. It’s a work in progress but there is a lot of good information there. 

I would also recommend these books, Natural Nutrition for Dogs & Cats and Raw Dog Food.

You can also go to our Feeding Dogs Page for a list of articles and books that will be helpful to you.

Chicken, rice and vegetables is not an appropriate diet for a dog.  I would not feed any grains at all to this dog (NO RICE) , and no vegetables until you have this dog switched to a raw diet and he is doing well.  I would also never vaccinate him again, because most likely this has been one of the reasons for the allergies in the first place.  For information on vaccinations and the problems they cause please read our vaccinosis article.

I would also recommend these 2 books,  Shock to the System and Vaccine Guide for Dogs & Cats

We sell a good book about canine allergies too, if you are interested. 


Question:

Hello,

I found the formula for the puppy on your website and I have been giving it to my puppies as we had to give the mother back to the breeder and we were able to keep 2 pups. They are  3 weeks old now and I have noticed when they go to the bathroom the bowel movement are really soft and my girl's is almost diarrhea. I am not sure if there is a problem with the formula or if she is having a problem.

Do you have any advice as to what I should do or look for in the future until they eat real food?

Thanks in advance,
Geri

puppies

Answer:

I would take a stool sample to the vet and have it checked for worms or coccidia.  I would also make sure you are not overfeeding them, diarrhea can be a sign of overfeeding.

You should be able to start mixing food in with the formula within the next several days, if they do not have any intestinal parasites.

We have a section on feeding dogs that may be helpful to you as they are being weaned.


Question:

Sorry to bother you with a Discussion question but I am waiting approval to go on the Forum and I need a very quick answer. I just began feeding my 5 month old puppy on a raw diet tonight (he had his first chicken neck ever!) and I thought I had everything researched and prepared. I fed him in the crate since I have 3 small kids and want to keep the mess somewhat contained, however, he is a long- haired dog (cockapoo) and I'm not sure if I need to wash him off after each meal or will he traipse all over the house with salmonella on his paws and legs? Do you have any suggestions or am I being way too paranoid :) ?

Thank you kindly,
Melanie

Answer:

Feed him in a crate and if you are worried about this, wipe him off.

I don't worry about things like this, but it doesn't hurt anything to wipe him off if you have reservations of any kind.

Read this article on feeding a raw diet. It’s a work in progress but there is a lot of good information there.

I cover many common questions there.


Question:

A year ago I read all the articles on the web site and decided to feed my GSD the raw diet. She does not like beef or most other red meats but will only eat chicken and other fowl. My question / problem is she looks great, lots of energy, and for the most part is healthy except she has become extremely constipated. I tried the pumpkin mixed with the chicken but no help and she won’t touch any kibble. Have you ever experienced this before?

Thanks for you time.

Dale

Answer:

Constipation is usually due to a bit more bone in the diet than the body needs.  Can you add some boneless chicken or turkey to the meals you are feeding and see if that helps?  Whenever my dogs get constipated I add more boneless meat and that usually does the trick.


Question:

I read on your website about Alfalfa and Kelp powder and that it (each) is very nutritious, one teaspoonful/day is enough for the dog.

Alfalfa is available in India and many people use it as cattle feed. Although you mentioned this only as a food supplement, I am surprised to hear one teaspoon Alfalfa powder per and one teaspoonful of kelp powder per day is enough for a dog.

Or, am I missing something?

Thanks,
Basheer

Answer:

Alfalfa hay is what is fed to cattle, the powder form is used as a supplement. One teaspoonful is plenty for a dog.


Question:

Hi,

I'm sure you don't remember me, but I have been using all your DVDs, website info, toys, leashes, etc...ever since Jake, my Lab, was 8 weeks old.  You are fabulous.  People ask who trained him, and I say I did through you! :)  I can't thank you enough.

The big question:  Are dogs more satisfied on a raw diet? 

Jake eats a cup of Sold Gold (Premium dry food) twice a day.  He constantly licks his empty bowl.  Sometimes he returns to the kitchen, I suspect to look for food.  I give him raw soup marrow bones to satisfy his chewing urge, and he LOVES them.  (But still acts hungry)

I know that Labs like to eat (some non-stop), but I suspect that he is really hungry; one night I gave in and fed him a good amount of freshly cooked turkey breast, and we all noticed that he was MUCH calmer that night.  He was relaxed.  By the way, he gets plenty of exercise, at least 1 hour of fast exercise and two other walks a day. 

How the vet expects us to ignore this in order to get him to lose 4 pounds is beyond me.  If he cared for Jake for one day, he would see what I am trying to tell him.  I am going to switch to a raw diet like the one you feed your dogs.  Do you think he will feel more satisfied and happier?  Please help; what does it sound like to you?

Best wishes and Happy New Year,
Cherie

Answer:

I truly believe ANY animal fed a species appropriate diet is more satisfied.

I'll give you this to think about.... You could have a nice meal, of whatever your favorite food is...say a steak, potato and salad.  OR you could have a little cup of pellets that had been processed to death. 

Kibble is processed and much of the nutrition that WAS there before it was cooked and extruded, has been destroyed. This is just one aspect of feeding.  Your dog will be so much happier to chew and tear REAL food, as opposed to eating a bowl of pellets.

Many dogs slim down on a raw diet because they are no longer eating the carb laden kibble. Dogs have no nutritional need for carbs like we do. 

Our horses eat hay year round, because horses are meant to eat grasses.  We don't feed our horses processed pellets either, like so many vets recommend.

Species appropriate is the phrase to keep in mind.

Another Question:

Hi Cindy and Ed,

Cindy, your advice was great.  I started the Raw diet yesterday, and Jake loves it.  He just gobbled down his breakfast - a first for us!  :)

Question:  I know that you are located in Wisconsin.  I live in Illinois, the north suburbs of Chicago, close to Wisconsin.  Do you know of any suppliers somewhat close to me that might provide a good price if I buy in bulk?  I looked on the Internet, but most are way out of state and the shipping is exorbitant.  I will also check the yellow pages. 

Many thanks.  I'm very excited about this!  Yesterday I ordered your DVD, Eat, Drink, and Wag your Tail.  

Best,
Cherie

Answer:

Here is a yahoo group devoted to helping people find suppliers

http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/CarnivoreFeed-Supplier/


Question:

Dear Cindy,

Thank you for your great website. I have just have recently switched to raw meat for our Jack Russell Terrier. I would appreciate your help. My question: Should I be concerned regarding meat that may have preservatives, hormones and antibiotics? I suppose it isn't any different than what is in the kibble that he ate. I would appreciate your opinion.

Thanks so very much.
Marlene

Answer:

If you are concerned about additives in meat, I would suggest only feeding organic meats.

I feel that human grade meat is WAY better than anything that would be in kibble, so I don't worry too much about it, but if I only had one small dog I would feed organic.


Question:

We have a 4 1/2 month old male german shepherd. We feed him kibble, only because that's all I ever knew, however, we just butchered our own meat and have given him raw bones. I'm not sure if it was a coincidence, but he ended up  very listless, some vomiting, and had a fever of 104.5. The vet thinks possibly that the fat combined with the bits of bone may have induced a bacterial infection in his pancreas, are we feeding him the wrong bones? They are not cooked, they are about 6-7 inches long and as big around as my wrist not a lot if any meat on them but visible marrow, I'm pretty new at this so your opinion is helpful, our vet is what you would consider NOT pro raw.

Thank you,
Shauna

Answer:

I think a raw diet is the absolute best diet for any dog, but just jumping into it without any research can result in a sick dog.

Read this article on feeding a raw diet.  It’s a work in progress but there is a lot of good information there. 

I would also recommend these books, Natural Nutrition for Dogs & Cats and Raw Dog Food.

You can also go to our Feeding Dogs Page for a list of articles and books that will be helpful to you.

There is a right and wrong way to feed dogs a raw diet, and it does take a bit of time and dedication on the part of the owner to do the research before starting this method of feeding.  From the sound of it, the bones you gave to your dog would be what I consider a recreational bone, not a raw meaty bone. The definitions of terms can be found in my article and in the books I linked above.

I hope this helps and I hope your pup is feeling better.


Question:

Hi,

I have  a question I would like to ask you about the raw diet.

I see you feed your German Shepherd  raw chicken, I was feeding  mine raw beef and she is doing fine on it, but figure I should try something different. My question is, I give her a thigh with the bone removed and dip it in boiling water for 2 min to kill any bacteria, cut it up and she love it. Then I let her bite the raw bone. She chewed twice and swallowed, when I looked at the end I was holding it was splinted or pointed. I did not let her finish it. Is that normal? She pooped fine the next day. I'm just worry. I'm going to buy your book. I have done a lot of reading on the web, after a while it is just confusing. Can I feed her beef in the morning and chicken at night? Please HELP!

Thanks,
Bob

Answer:

Hi Bob,

There is no reason to dip raw food in boiling water, a healthy dog can certainly handle any bacteria that may be present.

Read this article on feeding a raw diet.  It’s a work in progress but there is a lot of good information there. 

I would also recommend these books, Natural Nutrition for Dogs & Cats and Raw Dog Food.

You can also go to our Feeding Dogs Page for a list of articles and books that will be helpful to you.

These resources will answer all your questions.


Question:

I am paranoid about how I take care of my dogs, I always want to do what is best for them.  Recently, I heard that flaxseed can cause infertility in females, and I was wondering what you thought of that?  I can't find anything on the internet, just this article I received.  I currently feed Canidae, and the Nupro supplement, which both have flax.  What do you think about this supplement, also?

Answer:

I’ve never heard this before.  Flaxseed isn’t our supplement of choice because dogs do best with an animal based product like Salmon Oil as opposed to plant based product (like flax)  we do however feed some foods and treats that contain flax, and unless your dog is allergic to this, I wouldn’t worry about it.

The supplements we use and recommend are on this page, we don’t use Nupro.


Question:

Hi,

My dog is not overweight,he has a nice trim waist and no belly fat. I walk him at least 1 mile a day and usually more. He chases his ball etc. Thanks to your staff who I find to be most helpful my dog did not get vaccinated this yr. Instead I had a titer ran on him and he did not need shots. I would never known to do this if it weren't for you people. I told my vet about how often I express his glands and she said small dogs have problems with this and it is ok for me to do it for him. I worry I might hurt him but he doesn't show any signs of pain. I put meat, chicken or liver, in with the honest kitchen but I cook it first. I do not give them bones but I will try it. Is there any other source of fiber I can buy? He is a 20 lb. poodle mix. I give him mega daily pet tabs 1/2 a day I open the cap and mix it in his food--super C--garlic in the spring, summer, and fall for fleas,salmon oil and vita E, probiotics, and grand flex powder. He is such a cute, sweet dog I want to do all that is best for him. Thank You for your time and help, I appreciate it! 

Patti

Answer:

Hi Patti,

You could try adding a small amount of canned pumpkin to his food each feeding.  Maybe a tablespoon full.  Pumpkin is full of fiber and may help, its worth a try anyway!  Make sure you get the 100% pure pumpkin, not the pie filling.

We keep cans of pumpkin on hand for dogs who have loose stool or are constipated. My dogs really love it too, and it’s safe to feed to them.  The fiber content is quite high so it may help with your dog’s anal glands as well and it won’t be harmful.

Good luck.  


Question:

Hi Cindy,

I have a 14 week old Black Russian Terrier.  I have her currently on Innova Large Breed Puppy food and would like to transition her to Honest Kitchen.  I have a couple of questions and concerns.  As an owner of a Giant breed I am obsessed with worrying about calcium rates, and calories and I don't understand it all that well.  With giant breeds and I am sure with your GSDs, these are concerns along with a multitude of other things like "no stairs, no over exercising and etc." I am considering Honest Kitchen because I would like to go grain free and was hoping that you could recommend one of them and if I should limit my BRTs RMBs because of excess calcium.  She was 33lbs at 13 weeks and will top out around 100lbs.  Also, what supplements would you recommend for this breed and does the supplementation change as the dog grows older.  Lastly - I know that probiotics are great for the transition, but should I stop them once she has adjusted?  I purchased and read the book you sell on your site about natural nutrition for dogs and cats, but still had these questions.

Thank you for your help,
Julie

Answer:

For a growing pup I would recommend Embark, and I also interchange with Force (which is also grain free)  I wouldn’t worry too much about cutting back  RMBs, as the calcium in ‘real’ food is easily handled by the body.  I have raised countless puppies on a raw diet, without issue.  You can make yourself crazy if you try to figure out calcium ratios and things like that.  

Balance over time is the key, and we feed a variety of foods to all our dogs here and have for many years.  Kibble companies and vets try to scare us into thinking we can’t feed our dogs unless some scientists give us the correctly balanced foods.  I would bet you have never given a thought to your own calcium/phosphorus ratios!  I know I haven’t!

I would also recommend the book Raw Dog Food, it’s really well done.

For a dog making a switch, I would recommend digestive enzymes (many people get these confused with probiotics.)  Probiotics are also good during a switch or any kind of stress or after a round of antibiotics.

I hope this helps.


Question:

Cindy,

I found out about the Honest Kitchen on your website  First of all, congratulations on your website and the quality of the products that you carry.  Here is my question: I plan on feeding my dog a mix of The Honest Kitchen Embark formula and raw food either from Nature's Variety or Raw Advantage, the only two frozen raw food brands easily found where I live (chicken, turkey, or lamb, supplemented with occasional necks and recreational bones). I also occasionally give my dog some unsweetened kefir, or some cooked whole eggs. I would like to know the recommended quantity of Embark to feed him, and any other suggestions/advice to make sure he has a complete diet. The dog is a Tibetan Mastiff puppy, currently just a little over three months old and about 40lbs. As an adult, he is going to weigh over 125lbs. Because it's a large/giant breed, I need to keep the amount of proteins and calcium relatively low, and would rather keep it underweight than overweight. The dog is fed three meals a day (7a.m., 12:30 p.m., 7 p.m.) and the meals are left there of him to enjoy over time (modified free-feeding aka portion feeding diet) to avoid bloat. By the way, I want to double check that The Honest Kitchen can be left in the bowl for 4-5 hours without any problem -- I assume it can since you recommend hydrating it overnight. Thank you for your advice, and thank you for any advice about possible supplements to provide any needed elements (e.g., apple cider vinegar, fish oil, etc.).

Sincerely,
Luigi

Answer:

Hi Luigi

The feeding guidelines for all the Honest Kitchen products are on our website and on each package. Remember these are guidelines, each and every dog and pup is different.  I feed my dogs according to how they look and modify the amount accordingly. http://www.leerburg.com/honestkitchen.htm#feeding  with growing pups this can change from day to day.

http://www.leerburg.com/qahonestkitchen.htm  here is a question and answer section specifically on HK.

I do rehydrate HK overnight, but I never recommend free feeding.  I would re-evaluate that idea. A dog’s digestive tract is not designed for small amounts of food all day long like a grazing animal, they are designed to eat a meal (quickly) and then have a chance for their system to empty out.   For pack structure, leadership and training free feeding is one of the worst things you can do, especially with a strong breed like a TM.   

The 2 supplements I absolutely recommend for every dog is Salmon Oil and Vitamin E.

Cindy


Question:

Sheba, my GSD is 2 yrs old now. Since she was 8 wks old I have been feeding her PHD PRODUCTS – VIAND with raw beef or chicken added. For the last 6 months she has been scratching and chewing on her feet. I’ve had to give her Cephylexin twice now and now the infection is coming back in her paws.  I believe this is diet related. I had the vet check for worms and there were none. Currently she is in heat which could explain why she is not very drive. I am looking at the honest kitchen products.  I would love to hear your thoughts.

By the way I just found your website and it is by far one of the best I have every seen relating to dogs!

I look forward to hearing from you.

Bill

Answer:

There are a couple of things I would mention.  One is to have a thyroid test done, to make sure everything is in the normal range there. Thyroid imbalance can cause skin problems.  I don’t know about your dog’s vaccine status, but many dogs develop allergies and skin issues due to reactions from vaccinations. You can read our article on vaccinosis

For diet suggestions, I would recommend one of the grain free Honest Kitchen formulas, either Force or Embark.  

You can read the section I have written on feeding a raw diet, for more ideas on how to feed Sheba. I would also recommend these books, Natural Nutrition for Dogs & Cats and Raw Dog Food

Thanks for the kind words, let me know if I can be of any further assistance.

Cindy


Question:

I have a 7 month old GSD puppy that is starting to eat a raw foods diet.  When I give him a chicken leg he gulps it down whole!  When I give him a chicken hind quarter he tries the same.  I am so sure he is going to choke. What can I do to get him to slow down and chew his food up? 

Thank you for any advice you can offer.
Sandy

Answer:

When dogs try to swallow raw foods whole, I advise to give LARGER pieces so they are forced to chew. Giving smaller pieces encourages them to swallow food whole.

Try a half a chicken, or very large leg quarters and don’t give him anything small.  Legs alone are definitely a choking hazard.

Cindy


Question:

What are your thoughts on the Solid Gold WolfCub food? I pick up my puppy on March 20th, and the breeder was pushing that stuff pretty hard. However, I've heard that Solid Gold practically gives the stuff to breeders to get them to recommend it. So, I'd like a second opinion on what I should be feeding the puppy.

I asked him about Innova and some other brands, and he said those were good. But, he said he feeds the Wolf Cub to puppies to prevent their bones from outgrowing their joints.

I'm planning on feeding Innova EVO or the Instinct Rabbit formula when he gets bigger.

Should I be feeding something else to a puppy? I definitely want to do a raw diet, but still use kibble.

Thanks!
Jay

Answer:

I don't like any of the Solid Gold foods, the Wolf Cub has 4 types of grain in the first 6 ingredients listed. That in itself is enough for me to say that it's not appropriate food for any dog and especially not a puppy.

Here is a list of kibbles that we feel are better quality, although we really don't advocate kibble at all. (we won't sell our GSD or Malinois puppies to people who are kibble feeders) I have heard good things about Orijen, it's on the list.

Try to do raw if you can, at least part of the time. You will have a healthier dog because of it.

Let me know if I can answer any other questions. Have fun with the new pup!

Cindy


Question:

Hello Cindy,

A quick question for you. Between the Verve and Embark, which would you start puppies out on after weaning with the milk formula and hamburger? Or,....would you simply start them on the Embark with a little of the formula?  The litter is now 3 weeks old.   By the way, I tried your formula for the first time today because I felt that the litter should be gaining better that they are (it was a litter of 10, lost 1) most of them weigh in at 2.2lbs - 2.4lbs and a couple at 2.6.  I can't remember the one larger litter we had a few years back, if that is normal for this age.  None of them will use the bottle but will definitely use the saucer or my hand to drink from (no hesitation at all with the formula) so I know they are very close to weaning. Thank you for your time and all the information you have on your site. I have listened to people talk down about Leerburg for years and have always came back to your site for more and more information. It always just seems to "fit."  Maybe they are just jealous.

By the way, I wish we had known about this formula for our last litter, it would have been so much better for them and us as we had to bottle feed and still lost all but one out of 7. I think we could have saved more had we known about this formula.

Regards, 
Terry

Answer:

I don’t feed Honest Kitchen exclusively to any of our dogs, its part of a varied diet that they get.  If I had to pick the formula to feed exclusively I would go with Embark or Force because I do not feed grain to my own dogs.

I wean onto formula and hamburger and don’t start adding multi ingredient foods until the pups are 7 weeks or so.  I may start them on chicken backs or breast (bone in) or let them chew on some pork or beef ribs but I don’t add veggies or any of that until they are much older (to prevent food allergies). 

Our puppies start weaning around 3-4 weeks old but continue to nurse for several weeks.  Until they are not nursing at all, I don’t get in a rush to feed them “dog” food.  I merely supplement them so mom isn’t bearing all the burden.

Cindy


Question:

Hi there, I was looking again at your website and saw the tv show that you have on there about vets. Unreal. Scary. I was wondering if you could give me some insight, my shepherd, is constantly scratching and licking her paws, she is also shedding more than I think she should be. The seasons have changed, so I don't know why she is shedding. She is a house dog, so maybe that could be one of the reasons? I may have to bring her to the vet, trust me I don't want to but she has a little hole in her skin and there is a scab that grew over it, so I want to get that looked at, but they are going to tell me that she needs her yearly shot.

Of course they won't look at her unless she has the shot because she has to be up to date. What does one do, for ailments on their pets and the vets want shots to be up to date? She is on Performatrin Ultra "Slim Care Formula with Salmon and Olive Oil. It has chicory, flaxseed, blueberries, yucca, vitamin E, omega 3 and 6, pro and prebiotics, sweet potatoes, kelp,green tea., with many other whole foods. I also give her 4000mg of Salmon oil. The vet is probably going to recommend a new food specifically for her scratching. I know you don't like store food, but I can't afford to feed my dog like you feed yours. So I tried to find her the holistic food. Could you please tell me why she would be scratching and shedding. She is four years old. Thanks.

Answer:

There are MANY reasons your dog could be scratching, and we are not health care professionals so we can’t diagnose your dog over the internet. It could be a thyroid imbalance, autoimmune disease, seasonal allergies, hormonal imbalance, vaccinosis, flea allergy or food sensitivity.

First thing to remember is that your vet works for you, and if you are bringing your dog into their office for a medical condition (skin problem) they should not be giving vaccines at all. It states clearly on the insert in the vaccine packaging FOR USE IN HEALTHY DOGS ONLY. I would make it clear to your vet that you will not be doing business there if they insist on vaccines when your dog has medical issues.

Here is a list of vets we have compiled to date, with the help of our customers. If you do not find a vet close by on our list, I would suggest doing a google search on holistic or homeopathic vets in your area.

Dogs do shed seasonally, but should not have scabs or be excessively scratching. The first thing I suggest is to change the dog’s diet to a higher quality food (raw if possible). If you can’t do a raw diet, at least get your dog on a human grade ingredient kibble with no fillers or grain. Sometimes just making the switch to higher quality food is all it takes to relieve the skin issues. I would also recommend Salmon Oil and Vitamin E, no matter what you are feeding. I would probably not give the food you listed, I see flaxseed in the ingredient list which many dogs have issues with. The other ingredients you listed sound ok, but when they are in a kibble they may not be available for the dog’s system due to the processing at high temperatures.

There are resources on this page that may help http://leerburg.com/feedingdogs.htm

Cindy

Another Question:

Hi Cindy, Michelle here, the one with the super scratching dog, brought Nika to the vet and the vet did a scraping for mange. She comes back into the room and says it isn't positive for mange but we would like to give Nika 'Revolution.' So I said to her 'well, why give her something for something when that something isn't there' She says sometimes the test say negative but the mite could still be on the body. Should I get it anyway?? Then she says that Nika is due for her DAPP and rabies, and I told her no I am not getting my dog vaccinated. I don't agree with them and I have some articles if you would like to read them. I got the articles from your website. She told me to get some Benadryl for the scratching, it would help. Would you recommend the Benadryl? Thanks again Cindy for your response, it is people like you and Ed that help us little people, that don't know everything. Thanks again.
Michelle

Answer:

Good for you, I am proud of you for sticking up for your dog and not allowing vaccines and medications that may not be necessary.

Benadryl would be ok to try, just to see if it helped her at all.

I would probably consider a food change, because that is something you can control and if it’s the food you should see some improvement pretty quickly and it won’t hurt your dog.

Last Comment:

Hey Cindy, I put her on Royal Canin German Shepherd 24, I know it's not raw, but it does cater to shepherds and their sensitive sides. Should I get the Revolution anyway, for preventative or just leave it? She has no other symptoms or her fur doesn't look like those I have seen with mange. The Benadryl did help, I washed her with medicated shampoo as well, didn't scratch as much last nite. Thanks again so much Cindy, keep up the informative and caring work.

Michelle


Question:

I have a 10 month GSD that has allergies. He has been on a raw foods diet from 8 weeks. I follow your diet with portions of chicken thighs, and backs daily. Have you ever had a dog that was allergic to chicken backs and necks? If you have, did you have to stop the raw foods diet? I don't want to do that unless I have to.

Thank you for any help you can offer,
Sandy

Answer:

I have had a dog that could not eat chicken. I am not sure if it’s actually the chicken or the solution that is injected into chicken to make it weigh more. Either way, the thing to do is to cut chicken out of the diet for a period of a couple of months and see if there is an improvement.

For my particular dog I replaced chicken with rabbit and she ate only rabbit for a period of a couple of months.

I would not stop the raw food, but I would cut out any extras that the dog is getting that may be causing reactions. Go to a simple ingredient list for a period of time, and cut out supplements and veggies if you give them. You can add things back in later, but there is no way to know what the dog is sensitive to if you are feeding many different ingredients.

I would also recommend these books, Natural Nutrition for Dogs & Cats and Raw Dog Food (if you don’t already have them). They are handy references for raw feeders to have on hand.


Question:

I have 11, 6 week old, English Bulldogs and they have had diarrhea off and on for about a week.  They are on hard puppy chow and they eat it good and drink a lot of water.  I have given them plain yogurt and it helps some, but they still have it.  One may have mushy poop one time and the next time it may be really runny. Do you have any suggestions to make their poop consistent?  Thank you for your help.

Linda

Answer:

I would take a stool sample in to your vet from one of the pups, they may need worming and a vet can analyze the sample and let you know if you need medication for them. 

I don’t know what brand of food you are feeding but if it is a grocery store puppy chow the pups are probably having a difficult time digesting it.  Most grocery store pet foods are totally inappropriate for our dogs and cats to eat, made of inferior ingredients that are difficult to digest.

I would refer you to our feeding dogs section of the website.


Question:

Hello Ed, Cindy and Leerburg

I have recently started to follow your methods for training and feeding, I must say that you and your website have opened my eyes to a whole new way of dog ownership.

I have started to feed our MAL foxy the honest kitchen food and boy does she love it, my question is I am trying to help a friend with their dog's diet and they are not interested in RAW or the Honest kitchen. So how do you select a kibble by the ingredients and what do they mean?

And my SECOND question is we are thinking about going all raw with our dog, but I keep hearing and reading about ZOONOSIS which they say is the transfer of bacteria from dog to owner from saliva. Is this true and what do think about it?

I have several of your videos and training items all of them are great.

Thanks,
Shaun

Answer:

The bacteria question is a common one.  If you think about the fact that there is bacteria EVERYWHERE then you will understand that the risk of bacterial contamination from the dog is no greater than from the handle of a public restroom door or a shopping cart.  Wash your hands a lot if you are concerned and don’t let your dog lick your face.  After all, raw food is probably one of the least bacteria laden things your dog puts in his mouth (they lick their behinds and eat manure quite often).

We don’t feed kibble, and how to select one is a fairly complicated topic.  There are many threads on our discussion forum about selecting a decent kibble… the main thing is to look for no grain and no by products.  Many kibbles are merely waste product from the human food market and can be quite unfit to feed our dogs (in my opinion).

Please visit our Discussion Forum.  There are thousands of members and many posts on every dog related topic imaginable.  You don’t have to register to read the material, but if you wish to post a question or reply you must go through the registration process.

I hope this helps.


Question:

We were wanting to ask you about something.
As I had said in our previous email, we had ordered some things from you (DVDs, toys, treats, bait bags), however, we are unable to receive the food treats due to customs. But we are very disappointed not to be able to get these treats - they appear to work so well and I'm sure our puppies would have loved them so much. We realize it's out of your or our power to do anything about actually getting them in our country (Australia) :-) but we were wondering if you could recommend any other kinds / brands of treats that would be just as healthy, and yummy for our puppies ( and that would work the same as those other soft treats you use)? In Australia, we can only get all the junk brands of everything, all the ones you don't recommend (Vets brands, hill science, advance, and plenty other junk brands etc. which we wouldn't feed our puppies).

Then we are stuck. We have been using raw red meat and chicken meat cut up real small, dried chicken strips, and dried liver treats, but these ones are too hard to chew and gulp up quickly and take way too long to eat and then continue training. What can you recommend? Perhaps you know of places and brands in Aussie where we can get good, soft, easy- for-training treats? Otherwise our puppies only get raw meat as their treats and no variation. We have searched high and low on the internet looking for good treats (such as the ones on the American market like Zukes Mini Naturals, Soft Training Treats, Plato Smart Treats, etc), but we just can't find anything. I don't think we can get treats in from America (or can we?) through our customs. Perhaps we can, we've never tried yet. But then if they confiscate them, we loose them.

What can we use as soft treats for training?
Please help us out if at all you can, we need your advice! :-)

Awaiting your reply at your convenience.
Thank you for your time again,
Kindly,
Rachel

PS.> I think my mother is sending you an email (from our other email address) about a story you would be interested in - an unpleasant experience with dogs in the past - it might be one you could use along with your other stories of dog
attacks as a warning to others. Yes, dog attacks are very serious, we learned that! . . . :-(

Answer:

For my dogs, I take a roast of some sort (venison is a favorite here) and put it in a slow cooker for several hours with some broth and a bit of seasoning. When it's cooked I dice it up into tiny pieces and put it into multiple baggies and freeze.

I use this for marker training, and it works very well. I spit food to my dogs from my mouth during exercises where I want them to focus on my face so the treats have to be something that tastes halfway decent to me too. :)

I hope this helps.

Cindy


Question:

I feed my 10 month old GSD raw food. To further add variety, I was wondering if I could feed him ribs, or steaks like a T-bone steak. I read on your site that ribs were fine. Just to verify since I thought rib bones were much harder than leg quarter bones...dogs can eat those, just as they do the leg quarters? And can they eat steaks that have bones in them like T-bones? Any experience? Thanks

Adam

Answer:

Pork ribs and beef ribs are tolerated by many dogs but the bone content is high, and I only feed them WITH additional boneless meat (like burger)

I don’t feed my dogs any type of bones (like T bones) that have been cut by the butcher, they tend to be really sharp.  Steak is also really expensive and there are many other cheap cuts of meat that it much better to feed.

Cindy


Question:

Cindy, my GSD has been on a raw diet since November (Bravo/Honest Kitchen) with great success, however, the other night I decided to give him a raw meaty beef neck bone. He devoured and enjoyed it, but afterwards I noticed he was breathing fast and hyper-salivating.  Can you give me any wisdom regarding this reaction? It lasted about 1-2 hours.

Thank you,
Diane

Answer:

Anytime I see excessive salivation I check the mouth and teeth very carefully.  It’s possible your dog had a fragment of bone wedged somewhere between his teeth or in his mouth.

It’s not common, but it does happen.  Also look for unusual lip licking or rubbing his muzzle with paws or on the floor or furniture.

Cindy


Question:

Hi Cindy,

I emailed you before about my rottweiler and loose stools. I'm not having that problem anymore.

Got a new problem.

Draco, my male rottweiler just at 1 year old, is such a picky eater. He was doing fine eating raw meat and HK Embark. I would give him about a pound of raw meat in the morning and HK and a 1/2 pound at night. One day he decided he didn't want that anymore. Wouldn't eat. I gave him kibble and he ate that for about 3 days.

I like the raw diet. He had more energy, his coat looked good, and I liked the fact that he was excited about eating.

I have noticed lately that he seems to be eating more grass.

I wonder if he might have a worm infection again. He is on Heartguard Plus. I was afraid that he was getting worms again so I did a treatment in the middle of the month just to be sure he wasn't getting worms. Last time he went off his feed he had worms. But I would imagine that the worms would adapt to that? should I rotate the type of de-wormer I use.
I have been checking his stools to for worms but have not seen anything.
The texture of his stool changes everytime though.

In the morning he is not very excited about eating at all. I don't know if I should just feed him at night? I worry that he is not getting all the nutrition he needs. I know he won't starve himself. But if he is not getting the proper nutrition he won't grow. Also he has been at 70lbs for 3 weeks now. He is all muscle and bones though. I would like him fuller though. Our vet said he should be eating anywhere from 5-6 cups of kibble daily. And then I should be adding more so he has a weight gain.

I don't mean to sound like a frazzled women but my dog is growing. Also I am planning to start training him in Cadaver Rescue searching and as such am trying to increase his stamina. So, his eating is a major part of him being healthy.

1. Should I change HK type?

2. Just feed him at night?

3. I am afraid to give him big pieces of chicken because then he wants to hold it and I am afraid that he is going to get bacteria all over that house and himself. I know you feed your dogs in their kennels but how do you handle this with your house dogs? Not worried about the bacteria on him, I know he can handle it.

4. Rotation of de-wormer types? If so then how to work that in with his heartworm preventer?

Thank you for your time in trying to help and any advice you have offer is greatly appreciated. I feel like when you love your pets and expect them to behavior and preform a job then you should be concerned about their well being.

Thanks,
Kelly

Answer:

The only way to be sure whether your dog has intestinal parasites is to do a microscopic exam. The worms that are most dangerous to our dogs usually can not be seen with the naked eye. The vet will analyze a stool sample by looking for worm eggs.

Some dogs like to eat in the morning, some eat better at night. You need to try and figure out what works for your dog. I have 2 dogs that eat once a day and one that gets two smaller meals daily. For putting weight on a dog, it usually is more beneficial to feed several smaller meals throughout the day instead of one big one. I would try adding some probiotics to your dog's food, to keep the beneficial bacteria at a good level. We use this here with every meal.

I also have a very hard dog to keep weight on, a 16 month old Malinois. I have been using a digestive enzyme on each meal and he's actually looking plump now. You open one capsule and sprinkle it on the food and it helps the dog get more nutrients and digest the food better.

Does your dog have a crate? We just feed our dogs in their crates, I don't let my dogs drag their food all over the house. You can also feed outside if you are worried about the mess in the house.

As for wormers, I only worm when it's necessary and use the best med for the type of worm found. I have found that healthy adult dogs RARELY need to be wormed and I don't give unnecessary medications to our dogs. Have the vet analyze a stool sample before you give him any additional medicine.

Cindy


Question:

Hi Cindy,

I wrote you a few weeks ago concerning my 11yr. old German Shepherd with arthritis in her hips.  You recommended switching her to the raw diet.  I've ordered a couple of the books you suggested and I've read nearly every article on the Leeburg Web site I could find.  I'm convinced this is what I should do.

Now, my problem.  Everything I've read suggests using chicken necks as a main staple, especially for the switch.  All my life I remember seeing chicken necks in the grocery store and thinking, "Yuck, who'd eat that?"  Well, now that I actually want to buy chicken necks, they are nowhere to be found.  The grocery stores here can't get them.  I live in Saluda County, SC; and we have two major chicken processing plants in this county.  My sister-in-law is the plant nurse for one of the processing plants, so I had her inquire about the chicken necks for me.  She was told that they no longer bother to leave the necks with the bird.  The necks are left with the heads, which are sent to another company for -- get this -- dog food.

My question:  Is it safe to use other chicken parts during the switch?  I can get backs & leg quarters with no problem. (My German Shepherd has all her teeth, although they are quite warn.) 

I will also be switching a Boxer (11 mo. old), a Lab (4 yrs. old) , and three Beagles (two are 3 yrs. & one is 9 yrs. old)  All are in good health, but the old beagle is missing a couple of teeth.  Any more tips for my big switch?  

Thank you so much for all your help and advice.

Sincerely,
Kristie

Answer:

I am not a big fan of using chicken necks or wings for switching dogs to the raw diet, even though that’s what many books recommend.  Backs are better IF you add some extra meat.  Since I have started feeding a raw diet I have gone more to a prey model type feeding style, where the bone content is only about 15 % of the total diet.   I think for switching, bone in chicken breast is about the easiest for the dog to handle.  The bones are soft and there is a good amount of meat on there.  If you use backs, add some extra ground meat of some type.

Once your dogs are doing well and not having any issues, then leg quarters are great.  They are the foundation of what we feed here.  They have a lot of meat on them and they are well tolerated by our dogs.  All of our dogs (even the semi toothless old timers) seem to handle chicken leg quarters just fine. I think this depends on the individual dog and all of ours have tremendous food drive, so they eat them right down.  The senior dogs just chew a bit more than the young ones.

Cindy


Question:

Dear Cindy,

We have a 9 month old Black Russian Terrier. We bought him from a local breeder when he was approx. 4 1/2 months old. He was being fed raw chicken quarters. Two quarters in the morning and two quarters in the evening. We added some oil, kelp combination and a 'joint' powder as the breeder did. We also added some salmon and organ during the week and daily gave him some raw vegetables and fruit. Recently, we added chicken necks in the mix as the breeder went to a wholesaler and purchased a large quantity and we shared the cost.

We learned of your site from them and bought numerous tapes, collars, etc. After reading your site we have added hamburger, ground turkey as the predominant good sources was only chicken before.

By adding ground meat is half in terms of pounds the correct balance to chicken parts?

Within the last three weeks he has had diarrhea and started throwing up undigested raw chicken necks.

The breeder suggested fasting him for a day because of the heat. We fasted him until early evening and I gave him a small lightly cooked hamburger with success. The next day was okay but the evening meal he started a heave but held the food. The next day he threw up again. The necks were crunched but definitely not chewed well. He is now holding the food down okay but the diarrhea remains a problem. We had to give him medication to stop that and for about 4 days okay but then diarrhea again. I fed him cooked brown rice with chicken broth in a.m. and then same in p.m. but with a small amount of cooked chicken. Diarrhea again early this morning. Should I give him cooked food after diarrhea clears or should he begin his raw diet right away??

My husband is a big fruit eater and of course our pet begs and is given small amounts of whatever fruit he is eating (watermelon, pineapple, papaya, banana, etc). This is usually twice a day and throughout the day he is given a few raw whole cashew nuts. I do give him 2-3 dog cookies a day (from health food store--Puggley) but the breeder gives her dogs any kind of cookie. Can you guide us in a direction that will help us get back on track. We do want to feed raw and while our vet is trying to appreciate the diet he has no knowledge of what to do. Prescribe antibiotics for stomach bacterial infection and pills to soothe the stomach and to add carbs. Do you go along with brown rice and, if so, how much?

I hope this is the right information you need to help us. At the least this will get the conversation going.

Pat & Earl

Answer:

Whenever a dog has a digestive issue, I go to a simple diet for as long as it takes to get the dog back on track. I don’t like chicken necks, I think the bone content is too high and some dogs have problems digesting them unless you add extra boneless meat. If you can get your dog’s system settled down then continue to feed whatever it is that works to clear the diarrhea. Gradually go back to a regular diet from there. I think too many people get in a rush to add all the supplements and ingredients back in, too soon.

I’ve had good results using boiled boneless chicken breast and plain white rice. Canned pumpkin is also helpful for diarrhea.

Read this article on feeding a raw diet. It’s a work in progress but there is a lot of good information there.

I would also recommend these books, Natural Nutrition for Dogs & Cats and Raw Dog Food.

You can also go to our Feeding Dogs Page for a list of articles and books that will be helpful to you.

Please visit our Discussion Forum. There are thousands of members and many posts on every dog related topic imaginable. You don’t have to register to read the material, but if you wish to post a question or reply you must go through the registration process.

The raw feeding section of the forum is very active with many knowledgeable raw feeders available to relay their experiences.

Cindy


Question:

Hello,

I have a 9 month old German Shepherd-Timberwolf mix and I'm worried about whether or not I'm feeding her enough for her to grow at a normal healthy rate. I was feeding her four cups of the "Solid Gold: Wolf Cub" a day, but since I've been browsing your web-site I started only feeding her two cups a day and making her earn it with a training session before she eats. She's lost enough weight that I can notice a definition between her ribcage and her loin, though she doesn't look starved. I'm just curious whether you think this is good for her growth and nutrition or should I start feeding her more. Also, I cooked some ground venison and put it in a zip-lock in the refrigerator. I've been using this as an alternative to my other treats. Do you think this is okay? Thanks for your help!

Trey

Answer:

As for feeding, when using commercial dog food the guidelines on the packaging are merely that.... guidelines. In my opinion, they always recommend a large amount of food (probably to get you to use more of the product so you have to buy more). We go by the way the dog looks and body condition. Too thin and you should increase the amount of food, too fat and you should decrease. I do feel there are better options than the brand of food you are using.

Here is an article we have on that.

Venison for treats is great! We use the same thing. :)

I hope this helps.

Cindy


Question:

Dear cindy,

You answered a question for me a couple of years ago and I wondered if you can do it again. I purchased a 2 year old American pitbull terrier in April 2008 and I’m having trouble with him adjusting to his raw diet. He will eat the meat and bones part just fine but when it comes to the veggies he will not budge. I do not feed him veggies every day, just a couple times a week but to no avail. Tried steaming them – didn’t work, yogurt or cottage cheese – didn’t work. Switched him to Honest Kitchen (Force) not working, fasting a couple of days doesn’t work. I know he doesn’t need them all the time but I know he will be lacking in his diet if all meat is given. I tried to see if he wasn’t feeling good one day or if he just wasn’t hungry so I offered him some cheap kibble and he ate every morsel in about 3 minutes no problem so I know he is hungry. I do give him supplements - vitamins, kelp, alfalfa, fish oil, yogurt, eggs, not everyday but spread out during the week. So my question is have you ever had such a picky eater and if you did what did you do? Any suggestions will help me out so so much. Thank you for your time.

Sincerely,
Claudia

Answer:

I wouldn’t worry about making him eat the veggies. We feed occasional veggies to our dogs but actually they don’t need them to be healthy. As long as he gets the meat, bones, organs and supplements he should be fine.

Some dogs like them and some dogs don’t, but they are not necessary for good health. I hope this helps.

Cindy


Question:

Hi Ed and Cindy:

I have a 10 week old beagle puppy that came to our home 3 weeks ago. I started her on a raw meet diet immediately. She adjusted pretty well. (Thank God!) I basically feed her 4 meals per day with Windy's nutritional diet. She did so well until 4-5 days ago she started show the symptoms of diarrhea (paste type).

I found your wonderful web site. After reading an article relating to puppy diarrhea I draw a conclusion that the causing of this was overfeeding. Now I feed her three meals a day and followed Ed's instructions by adding pumpkin paste into her diet. It changed dramatically. There was no loose bowl movement. However if I took away pumpkin from her diet, the diarrhea returned back slowly. In these past two nights, she did well during the day and in the night she gets up 3-4 times for bowl movements (between solid to soft paste and little liquid). It has greatly interrupted our sleep. Do you know why it is like that?

I called your office, a lady helped me by suggesting me to give her some plain yogurt and cut down the amount of her meal to half to 3/4 pound a day.

She is about 7-8 pounds now.

I will see weather this works or not! Thank you for email me soon.

Sincerely,
AiLing

Answer:

I think the first thing you should do is take a stool sample to your vet to check for worms or other intestinal parasites. That’s always the first thing to do when a puppy gets diarrhea.

If the puppy has worms, the vet can prescribe medication that will take care of the parasites and the diarrhea should clear up.

I would probably continue with the pumpkin if she does ok with it, and GRADUALLY remove it from the diet. She may have had an irritation of
the GI tract and it needs time to recover.

Rule out a medical problem first and let me know how it goes.

Cindy


Question:

Hi Cindy,

I have a 2 year old male Siberian Husky. For about 6 months I fed him a raw food diet. He loved it and did quite well on it. Two problems arose however. One, it was difficult to keep weight on him no matter how much I fed him. Two, it became expensive and cumbersome. 

In an attempt to fix these problems I switched to the Honest Kitchens dehydrated raw food and also supplemented with raw meat, eggs, etc. He refused to eat. Turned his nose up every time and would go days without eating. I tried other flavor/recipes of Honest Kitchens -- he still refused it. I then tried various brands of grain free, meat and fruit/vegetables dry kibble such as Orijen. He'd eat it for a day or two and then refuse it.  I've tried canned meat mixed in with the kibble. He licks the meat off and leaves the kibble. Over the past 6 months I've tried everything I can think of to get him to eat (various different types/brands) and he generally refuses it, goes days without eating, then grudgingly eats a meal before repeating the cycle. 

After several days of not eating -- and of course watching him lose so much weight and become so thin -- I sometimes give him table scraps.  He eats this like crazy -- wolfs it down faster than a blink of the eye. I know this is not a good idea, but I become so concerned at his weight loss that I get desperate. I have gone several months without giving him table scraps but he still does not relent and eat his dog food.  The vet tells me I have to get some weight on him, but I can't get him to eat enough food or regularly enough to get the weight on him.

Any help you can provide would be much appreciated.

Thanks.
Tim

Answer:

I would first of all suggest taking this dog to a vet and having a thyroid test, and pancreatic enzyme testing done to make sure the dog’s system is functioning properly.  I would probably also recommend having a stool sample checked to make sure he doesn’t have any intestinal parasites.

If all that is normal, I would go back to a raw diet.  I think your dog is telling you he wants ‘real’ food, and while it may be more inconvenient for you I believe that if we make the choice to have dogs then we need to do what’s best for them even if it’s not the easiest thing for us.

In order to get weight on him I would make sure to pick fatty types of meat like lamb or high fat beef burger, you can even ask your butcher to save the fat trimmings for you.  Our meat market here will do that and they charge us about .50/pound.  The key is to add more calories to the diet and dogs seem to do best when they get their calories from fat.  You could also add a digestive enzyme to his meals, to aid in the utilization of the food he does eat.   I use this with a couple of my “hard keepers.”

Cindy


Question:

Hi,

I have a 5 year old Dalmatian and he has kidney problems.  Can I feed him Raw food? Is it a healthy food for my doggy? What ingredients can i use? I think that the dehydrated dog food (I feed him Royal Canin) isn't the best for his kidneys and i'm thinking about to start giving him raw food. Hill's Science Plan Dehydrated dog food is too expensive for me...

Thanks,
Sara

Answer:

Hi Sara

I don’t have any personal experience feeding a dog with kidney disease but I know of a very good website on how to feed dogs with kidney issues.

Here it is http://www.dogaware.com/kidney.html  It’s so thorough I think you should find the information you need there.

Best of luck to you and your dog.

Cindy



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